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My Charging Setup 1-2-3: Lessons and Learnings for Folks After Me

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Jumper, May 16, 2016.

  1. Jumper

    Jumper Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Chicago
    I figured I would share my experiences setting up my home charging solution, since I originally found it all rather overwhelming, and have ended up quite happy with the decisions that I've made.

    1. Where do I install my home charger?

    It might not seem like a big deal, but I can't stress enough how important it is to take the extra time to figure out the best ergonomic place to stick your charger. You're going to be using this thing every night, and extra steps and awkward reach-arounds will end up becoming a major pain in the butt over time. I decided that I wanted my charger as close to the rear left charging port as possible, and happily had a vertical pillar between two of my garage doors that fit the bill.

    2. HPWC or NEMA 14-50?

    If I had ordered my car three months ago, I would have definitely gotten the standard NEMA 14-50 charger. In fact, much of the advice in this forum tends to lean in that direction. There have been two significant changes that led me to go with the HPWC.

    First of all: the HPWC has been newly redesigned as of April 2016. It is now a bit more functional insofar as it has a self storing plug. More to the point, it now only costs $500, down from 2 to 3 times that in the past.

    Secondly: All new Teslas are now shipping with a 48 amp standard charger. This means that the NEMA 14-50 would not be able to safely charge the car at 48A, because doing so requires at least a 60 amp circuit, to allow for the 20% "headroom" required. I elected to run full blown 100 amp service to the HPWC as a means of future-proofing.

    Bottom line: HPWC seems like the clear way to go for me today, especially now knowing that I can one-day "unlock" a 72 amp charging capability on this (or future) Teslas if I need/want.

    I went with the 8' cable because (see picture below) I'd rather have a clean cable setup than the option to reach to some mythical-model-x-i-don't-yet-own 12 extra feet away. ;)

    3. Finding an electrician
    After getting several friends and family recommendations around the neighborhood, I decided to try out Thumbtack, a nifty Silicon Valley startup at connects you with up to five quotes within 24 hours. I am happy to report that three of the five thumbtack quotes came in at roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the friend and family quotes. My installation required a 100 foot run of 1 inch conduit, with several 90° bends along the route. Local code also requires a cutoff breaker switch within eyesight or preferably reach of the receptacle. I received seven quotes ranging from $400 to $3000 for the job, including parts and labor. I ended up going with the guy who charged me $650. It took him roughly eight hours to complete the job, two hours of which were shopping for parts. I am quite happy with the installation and am attaching a picture to show you how it turned out.

    2016-05-09 12.33.35.jpg
     
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